Saturday, July 22, 2023


Every time she says I can do something when she’s dead, I am tempted to ask if she can die sooner than later because the list of what I cannot do now is growing by leaps and bounds.

You can take that painting down when I die. Until then, leave it. When I die you can move those chairs, until then, let them stay. You can clear away that stuff when I’m dead. Just leave it for now. I don't want to take that trip but you can go when I'm dead. Don’t move these things here. You can toss them all into the trash when I’m gone.

God understands so I don’t feel but so bad for the thoughts that sometimes run through my head. I’m especially mindful though not to say them out loud. But I cannot make her understand that we are still here, and our choices should not be dependent on what a dead man once wanted for himself. But celebrating the here and now is suddenly foreign to her.

When my father died, she too stopped living. It has taken the patience of Job to keep her pushing forward with both feet. Most times, I have had to drag her along kicking and screaming. Change terrifies her and she sees death as the only answer to her fears. She’d been married to him longer than I’ve been alive, and his world was all she’d ever known. For sixty-plus years her entire existence had revolved around him, and now she feels lost with him not here. That makes me so sad.

I had hoped she would want more in however long she has left. That she would finally step out of the shadows and shine. She had once been a vibrant personality. She could slay dragons, run marathons, and take the world by storm with a simple dance step or two. That mother had no fear of anything. That mother lived every day for her next adventure. That mother held tightly to family and friends. People meant more to her than things. We lost my mother when my father died. That woman, is the one I miss even more than not having my father here. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023


My beloved father was recently referred to hospice. So we brought him home to die. No one prepares you for the waiting. They generalize the expectations because everyone’s experience in hospice is different. But no one tells you that waking every morning, wondering if today will be your loved one’s last day, is emotionally and physically debilitating. They don't tell you that sleep is difficult because you're afraid to not be there when they need you.

Patience has never been one of my virtues. Rushing through those things I can control is my norm. But no one wants to rush death. And waiting for it, knowing it will inevitably invade your happy place but not knowing exactly when, is brutal. Since the decision was made, each day has gotten harder. Daddy’s needs change with each passing hour. The caregiver responsibilities must sometimes change on a dime. And patience is often the divide between success and failure when you must wait, uncertain what will come, and what you must rise up to meet.

His hospice care team have been phenomenal. Their support and guidance have allowed us the grace to do this. Friends have circled around, support unexpected and appreciated. Family have stood strong, despite the inevitable drama that comes with fear and sadness and the lack of patience for bullshit usually ignored. Gratefully, petty disputes over rice and plastic cups only last as long as the timer for his next dose of pain meds to be dispensed, or the tears that come with the memories.

I cherish the memories. Not just those well in the past, but those made as family and friends have said their goodbyes. Memories wrapped in laughter that rattles the walls of our home, or watered by the mist of ugly tears. Losing myself in the memories has kept me standing. They have helped me with the waiting. I’m learning the fine art of patience. I just hate how the lesson is being taught.

Thursday, November 17, 2022


The truth never had a chance here.

Let me say that again.

The truth never had a chance here.

That statement, made by attorney Ralph E. Fernandez, about the death of 40-year-old Tamla Horsford, a black Forsyth County woman and mother of six who died during a largely all-white, adult slumber party in 2018, has always felt like a sliver of glass shoved into my heart.

The case surrounding Horsford’s death was compromised by conflicting witness statements, a tampered crime scene, mishandled evidence and “unheard of” absence of autopsy photos.  The medical examiner’s report stated Horsford had severe injuries to her head, neck, and torso. There were cuts to her face, wrist, hand, and lower legs. Horsford also had a “laceration to the right ventricle” of her heart.

Investigators claim Horsford fell about fourteen feet from the back porch of the home and died on impact. Her death was classified as an accident. Others who reviewed the case state her injuries were “consistent” with being in a physical struggle. Horsford’s case was closed, no charges were ever filed, and no one has ever been held accountable for her death.

The truth never had a chance here.

The parents of 8-year-old Jayceon Charles have been seeking justice for their young son since October 2022. Jayceon was visiting the home of a neighborhood friend with plans to go to an amusement park the following day. The friend’s family reportedly were roasting hot dogs when a fire broke out and little Jayceon was burned over 80% of his body. Instead of calling emergency services, the family, who are white, wrapped Jayceon in Vaseline and saran wrap. Not only did the family NOT call 911, they never contacted Jayceon’s parents. Little Jayceon managed to place a call to his mother, screaming into the phone for help. As a result of his injuries, Jayceon has since been on a ventilator, suffered from kidney failure, brain damage, had multiple surgeries and has coded twice. The Warren, Arkansas police have declined to investigate.

The truth never had a chance here.

Most recently, 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson of Charlotte, NC traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with friends to celebrate her bestie’s birthday. She was later found unconscious in her room and pronounced dead. Those friends claimed she died of alcohol poisoning. Days later a video clip surfaced showing those same friends beating Shanquella senseless and filming the assault just hours before her death. The autopsy report showed that Shanquella died from a severe spinal cord injury and broken neck. At this time, none of the friends who she went on the trip with are facing charges. And not one has been forthcoming or honest about what happened.

The truth doesn’t have a chance here. Or so some would want us to believe.

These are not stories that make national headlines. Missing white women syndrome is in full effect when it comes to the media attention on a murdered black mother, an 8-year-old black child viciously assaulted, and a beautiful black girl with ugly friends who showed themselves to be evil enemies. Were these stories to receive the same media attention as that of Gabby Petito, an American woman murdered by her boyfriend, maybe justice would be served. Maybe there would be earnest investigations into their cases and maybe with enough eyes questioning the facts, the truth would have more than a chance.

How did we get to this place? Where law enforcement will circumvent the truth to save face, protect the guilty, or simply show their disdain and lack of concern and compassion. When did social media clout become more important than reverence for human life? What has happened to our humanity?

These three cases, and others, haunt me. I've lost sleep pondering what I could possibly do to help. I don't know any of the families but I wish I could wrap them in a hug and let them know I care. I want to be there for them and I am not the only one. Their pain is my pain. It is our pain. Their frustration is our frustration. But for the grace of God, it could be me, or my child, or my daughter. Our beautiful black souls deserve so much more than being so easily dismissed.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022


I’ve decided that I need to revive my random thoughts segment. There’s so much going on and sometimes just a random thought about a subject is fitting. Y’all might remember how this works. Every so often a thought will cross my mind but never quite make it into a full-blown post. I call them DRIBBLINGS, just haphazard, trivial stuff that passes through my thoughts. And so, I DRIBBLE!

A father in Louisville boarded a public-school bus to verbally assault a child. (Video HERE.) He says it was out of character for him, but that his daughter has been bullied and because the school has taken no action, he’d been pushed to his limits when allegedly his daughter was smacked by another little girl. NO! In fact, HELL NO! I’m not buying that bullshit. He showed his true colors. No grown ass man would even consider calling a child a bitch and think that’s okay. No father of a daughter would be okay doing this unless he has absolutely no respect for women in general. He called that little girl out of her name with his whole chest, and I shudder to think what he would have done had the bus driver not been holding him back. The video showed his daughter trying to climb over the seat to continue to escalate the problem. Personally, I didn’t get victim vibes, unless she got a shot of courage because daddy was there. Clearly though, he’s not the role model any little girl needs to fully understand her self-worth as she journeys to womanhood. Either way, he was wrong, and no one should be okay with his behavior.


Words are my superpower. Point of view is my kryptonite.


At the beginning of his quest for the presidency, Donald Trump stated he could walk down 5th Avenue and shoot someone, and no one would care. A lot has happened since then that would seem to validate that statement. I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, would make the GOP pull their support of this one man and refocus on the needs of their constituents and the American people? Or are they, as an entire entity of political power determined to go down in flames if he leads them straight to hell?


We’ve blamed Covid. We’ve blamed presidents and political parties. We’ve blamed supply demands. We’ve pointed fingers at other countries and a war we’re financing but not supporting. Every ill from rising gas prices to the economic crisis across the nation has been blamed on something. At what point do we place the blame on the greed and selfishness of people who have no compassion for their fellow man? When do we call out blatantly bad behavior and actions meant to defraud most and prosper only a few? Where shelves are stocked, why haven’t prices begun to drop? Because someone is profiting personally, and they don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest of us. So when will we lay the blame there?


My cognitive empathy has become a liability. I cry at commercials. Life can become overwhelming too quickly. My emotional empathy is on overload, fueling somatic empathy that has my entire body reeling. To shut it down, I need to shut it off. If I shut off my emotions, I can’t write. And I need to write. I feel like I’m caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.


Old people are determined to take their dirt to their graves. The deeds done in their youth could potentially come back to haunt generations that follow behind them. But I get it. I’ve done some things I pray daily will never see the light of day. And I hope if it ever does, I’m long gone, and my descendants can forgive me. There’s a story here. Maybe, one day, I’ll let myself write it. Then again, maybe I already have?



Monday, August 15, 2022


USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon has been on my bookshelf since her New York Sabers series. It was one of the first romance series that made me doubt my own writing. Because Farrah Rochon can tell a story like no one’s business. She’s also one of those authors who is on point with every detail surrounding her books. From the creative idea to publication and marketing she doesn’t miss a single beat. Her writing is her business and I’ve learned much from her. Farrah has taken plotting a story to a level that still mystifies me. I was not a student who passed her class and I’ve taken her plotting workshop a few times. She is that good and I still don’t come close!

Farrah has been such an inspiration. She continually challenges all of us in this literary game to write better, promote smarter, and put only our very best on the table. She sets a higher standard with each and every book she writes, pulling us up and over that bar along with her. Those of us who admire her may go kicking and screaming but she hasn’t allowed us to fall once. She genuinely wants each and every one of us to win and that can be rare to find in a business where your success lasts only as long as it takes a reader to finish your last book.

Farrah’s list of literary nominations and awards is extensive. They reflect her love for her craft and a testament to her talent. Farrah is adored by all of us who know her, and it is truly a blessing to call her my friend.

I’m excited to celebrate Farrah’s most recent release, THE HOOKUIP PLAN. It’s the final story in The Boyfriend Project series. And what a ride this series has been! 

Successful pediatric surgeon London Kelley just needs to find some balance and de-stress. According to her friends Samiah and Taylor, what London really needs is a casual hookup. A night of fun with no strings. But no one—least of all London—expected it to go down at her high school reunion with Drew Sullivan, millionaire, owner of delicious abs, and oh yes, her archnemesis.

Now London is certain the road to hell is paved with good sex. Because she’s found out the real reason Drew’s back in Austin: to decide whether her beloved hospital remains open. Worse, Drew is doing everything he can to show her that he’s a decent guy who actually cares. But London’s not falling for it. Because while sleeping with the enemy is one thing, falling for him is definitely not part of the plan.

Yeah! This one’s good and you won’t be disappointed.

I’m also excited for her upcoming release,
ALMOST THERE:TWISTED TALE. If you follow Farrah, you know she is a big Disney fan. All that pink, cotton-candy, Mickey Mouse joy makes her heart sing. Now imagine her taking a Disney princess tale and giving it an alternate reality twist! How could this not be a must read! I’ve pre-ordered my copy and September 6th can’t get her fast enough. Don’t miss out on this one. Pre-order your copy NOW!

And if you’ve never read Farrah before, prepare yourself. She has an extensive backlist and every single title is romance gold. 

You’re welcome!

Friday, July 08, 2022


Today’s Diva Spotlight is shining on historical fiction author Dr. Piper G. Huguley. If you’ve not read any of her books, you’re missing out. With amazing story-telling skills Huguley is able to take us back in time to bear witness to the untold stories of amazing African American Christian characters. She educates, enlightens, and allows her readers to escape into historical experiences that have been largely left out of traditional history books. Huguley is out here doing the Lord’s work with her stories, and I greatly appreciate her ministry.

I adore Piper Huguley. I'm blessed to call her a friend and a sister of my heart. I aspire to be just like her when I grow up. She is an educator by profession and has influenced many a young mind to excel at whatever they desire. She a woman of Southern gentility, her grace, patience, and serene spirit reflected in the words she paints on paper. She epitomizes the very essence of #BlackGirlMagic.

I was honored to share a book with her, a trilogy with our author-sister-friend Iris Bolling. SONGBIRD is an incredible book, and  Huguley’s contribution is reflective of all her writings. It’s better than great. Sharing the stage with this amazing woman was a privilege and an honor I don’t take lightly.

Huguley has an extensive and impressive back list of books, starting with her two-book HOME TO MILFORD COLLEGE series and her MIGRATIONS OF THE HEART series. She’s been included in numerous anthologies and is often sought out to share her historical perspective on black history.

An award-winning author, Piper Huguley’s most recent release, BY HER OWN DESIGN: A Novel of ANN LOWE, Fashion Designer to the Social Register, is making quite the buzz in literary circles. Well received, the reviews have been reflective of her talent and masterful story-telling abilities. BY HER OWN DESIGN is the incredible, untold story of how Ann Lowe, a Black woman and granddaughter of slaves, rose above personal struggles and racial prejudice to design and create one of America's most famous wedding dresses of all time for Jackie Kennedy. I can personally attest to this book being one of the best of all times, although I might be slightly biased. But it is that remarkable and deserving of all the accolades.

Discover the work of Piper G. Huguley for yourself. You’ll be equally impressed!

Friday, July 01, 2022


Good morning! I'm so excited about this new series, DIVAS ON MY BOOKSHELF! Today, I’m thrilled to talk about the incomparable Vanessa Riley.

Vanessa Riley is one of the most prolific writers I know, and this is not my first-time sharing news of her books and upcoming releases. My last posts are HERE and HERE. I aspire to Vanessa’s level of creativity. I am always captivated by the sheer beauty of her words. She can take the 26 letters of the alphabet and string together stories that are transformative. I love me some Vanessa Riley!

Most recently I finished Island Queen, for the third time! Based on the incredible true-life story of Dorothy “Doll” Kirwan Thomas, a free Black woman who rose from slavery to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the colonial West Indies. Vanessa Riley breathed life into each character and her portrayal of Doll’s staunch determination to rise above her circumstances and reign was absolutely riveting. This writer’s ability to evoke emotion knows no bounds and with each chapter, I found myself lost in the eighteenth-century world of sugar plantations, island marketplaces, and London drawing rooms. If you want a real treat, purchase the audio book, too, narrated by the British actress Adjoa Andoh, (Lady Danbury of Bridgerton fame).

I'm anxiously awaiting the July 12, 2022 release of Vanessa’s next novel, Sister Mother Warrior. 


It’s the vivid, sweeping novel of the Haitian Revolution based on the true-life stories of two extraordinary women: the first Empress of Haiti, Marie-Claire Bonheur, and Gran Toya, a West African-born warrior who helped lead the rebellion that drove out the French and freed the enslaved people of Haiti. I know that Vanessa Riley will transport us to a whole other world as she again, pulls us into history we’ve never before been told or had been denied.

But Vanessa's writing talents don't stop there. She will soon be taking us on a jaunt into historical mysteries with her upcoming book, Murder in Westminster, the first book in her new Lady Worthing Mystery series. The anticipation is giving me goose bumps! Adding each new book of hers to my collection is me snatching a tiny piece of literary heaven to include in my small book world!

If you’ve never read Vanessa Riley, you’re missing out. Do yourself a favor and journey through her backlist. You’ll thank me later.